February 25th, 2009
If there is one reason I’ll be glad to go back to work next week, it will be so I can successfully avoid daytime television which has been running on Octomom Fever. In case you’ve been under a rock, I’m talking about Nadia Suleman, new mom to eight bouncing babies and creator of her own little league team.
Interview after interview has debated the ethics of fertility treatments, medical malfeasance on part of her doctor, irresponsible behavior on Ocotmom’s part, even whether the babies should be put up for adoption. I’ve seen doctors, lawyers, midwives, neighbors, Grandma and Grandpa go in front of the camera, and now this week, we heard from Octomom herself. I trust you’ve seen this, Octomom bawling out her mother for not being supportive.
I’ve gone back and forth on this. The thing that gets me the most about the entire ordeal is that it seems that the media is trying to make a case that Octomom is unstable, crazy and incapable of caring for her army of children.
This might be the case, it might not be. I think the point that is being missed here is that they’re interviewing a woman who isn’t even six weeks out of an incredibly traumatic birth. It made me think. I had a fairly untraumatic experience when I had my son, and I was a nutcase for about four months, if you ask my husband I’m sure he’d say more like six.
So before you go weighing her overall sanity on the basis of her post-partum interviews and appearances, not to mention the ‘I’m about to pop’ pre-birth interviews done when she was toward the end. Let’s all consider what crazy things we are capable of when we are controlled by our hormones.
1. Instead of post-partum depression, I had total post-partum euphoria. Everything was GREAT. I was the happiest woman on the planet, I cried every time Robby did the slightest cute thing, just because I was happy, seriously. It might sound sweet, but picture me out for a walk at the coffee shop, unable to order because I’m bawling over the cute look Robby just gave me.
2. I wanted my mommy. Badly. She was there for the birth, and in the weeks that followed I called her night and day, multiple times per day, sometimes just to tell her that Robby was sleeping, or that he was eating, or that I was eating, or what I was watching on television. I think she thought it was sweet of me until about day five hit, then I went on her caller ID list.
3. TMI. The mental filter that tells you what is an appropriate topic of conversation and what is not was removed during labor. Therefore for about four months following the event, anyone who asked even the most innocent of questions got my life story complete with gory details. I found myself telling my mail delivery lady about Robby’s poop, I told friends excruciating birth details in response to benign queries about my health.
Conversely, I would get randomly and irrationally private on occasion. When another mother at a birthday party asked me how my birth experience was, I reacted like she had asked for my left kidney. And while I felt she was grossly out of line, I actually convinced myself that the UPS guy really wanted to know how many hours I was in labor.
4. Raging paranoia. Maybe I watch too much television, maybe I have an overactive imagination, but I found myself randomly suspicious of suspected baby snatchers. One afternoon a man with a petition knocked on my door. He’s here a lot, I never sign his dumb petition, but that day I chased him off the front porch and threatened to call the cops if he didn’t get out of my driveway.
In my defense, it really is a dumb petition. It’s all about the noise from the airport. Hello. I knew there was an airport two blocks away when I moved here; I’m not surprised that there’s noise. It’s like those people who buy the house next to the prison and then get all upset that they’re living next to a bunch of criminals.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that maybe the media should hold off the interviews and the guesses about her state of mind until six months have passed. I can guarantee that right now she probably is crazy, I know I was.